Will Buxton criticises FIA after 2023 Saudi Arabian GP

Two drivers have already been penalised this year for failing to serve a penalty correctly.

Esteban Ocon had a nightmare start to the season two weeks ago at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Frenchman picking up a number of different penalties in quick succession.

The Alpine driver was forced to serve a five-second penalty during his first pit stop for being out of his grid slot at the start of the race but it was then deemed that his pit crew had started working on his car slightly too early.

This then led to Ocon being slapped with a ten-second penalty, essentially ruining his race.

Alonso has now suffered a very similar fate at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard initially being found to be slightly to the left-hand side of his grid box at the start of the race.

READ: George Russell to be stripped of podium as Aston Martin to undo Fernando Alonso penalty

Whilst serving the five-second penalty that followed, an Aston Martin mechanic touched the AMR-23 with the rear jack before he was allowed to, resulting in Alonso being slapped with an additional ten-second penalty after the race.

The penalty saw Alonso stripped of his 100th podium in F1 and replaced in P3 by George Russell, a decision that was seen as harsh by many F1 fans.

However, the FIA later reversed this decision, following a successful Aston Martin appeal.

Will Buxton has criticised the FIA for these harsh penalties and suggested how they could be prevented un the future with a slight alteration of the rules.

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“If the FIA is going to penalise teams for doing their own timings on when their car stops and when their pit crew get to work they need to install their own timers on the pit gantries so there can be no debate. Two penalties in two races doesn’t reflect well on the process,” he tweeted.

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“Perhaps create a marked box one metre outside the car’s marks in the pitlane. Teams must stay outside this box. When car comes to a stop an FIA representative hits a start button. Time runs out, a light on gantry goes green, team can move inside 1m box. Can’t be too hard.”

Alonso’s second penalty was only a couple of tenths away from costing him another position to Lewis Hamilton, meaning that these harsh penalties have the potential to cost teams and drivers a large haul of points.

With two similar incidents in two races, the FIA will be looking to clarify the rules and process ahead of the next race in Australia.